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Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc. has agreed to be acquired by ATN International, Inc. and Freedom 3 Capital, LLC for $332 million, including net debt. ATN owns other telecom service providers, including some in the Caribbean.

As a result of the deal, Alaska Communications terminated its earlier agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of Macquarie Capital (“Macquarie”) and GCM Grosvenor (“GCM”), through its Labor Impact Fund, L.P., a proposed transaction that Telecompetitor reported in early November.

The new deal calls for an affiliate of ATN to acquire all outstanding shares of Alaska Communications common stock for $3.40 each, a 78% premium over the closing price of $1.91 on the date that the Macquarie deal was announced. The ATN offer is a 4% premium over the Macquarie offer, according to a press release about the planned Alaska Communications sale.

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The Alaska Communications board had determined the ATN proposal to be superior to the previous deal, even though it resulted in the company paying a $6.8 million break-up fee.

When the ATN/Freedom 3 transaction closes, which is expected to occur in the second half of this year, Alaska Communications will be a consolidated, majority owned subsidiary of ATN.

Alaska Communications Network Map

The merger is subject to the approval of Alaska Communications’ stockholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. TAR Holdings, LLC, which owns approximately 8.8% of the outstanding shares of Alaska Communications common stock, has agreed to vote in favor of the merger.

“Today’s announcement is the product of a comprehensive process that demonstrates what a strong business the team at Alaska Communications has built,” said Alaska Communications chairman David W. Karp, in a prepared statement. “The agreement with ATN is a great result for our stockholders, who will receive significant near-term value.”

“This investment and merger allows us to enter a new market with many similar characteristics to our existing operations in the U.S. and elsewhere,” said ATN chairman and CEO Michael Prior, in a prepared statement about the Alaska Communications sale. “It aligns with our strategy to leverage the broad capabilities of our operating platform to enhance and augment leading providers of facilities-based communications services in distinctive markets.”

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